Supporting Specific Patient Populations
Home health agencies seeking to differentiate themselves may highlight their focus on specific patient populations. Patient specialization is not new; agencies have long defined themselves according to the types of patients (e.g., pediatrics) or use-cases (e.g., Alzheimer’s care) or even stage within the continuum (e.g., palliative or hospice care). However, virtual care enables home health agencies to provide superior care to patient populations whom other agencies might not be able to best address.
Providing Diabetes Management with Virtual Care
For example, Aspire Home Health and Hospice (Utah) uses Synzi’s virtual care communication platform to care for the diabetic patient population in a unique and compelling way. “Aspire embraces technologies which support our goal of providing our patients with the best in-home health care and therapy services. Unlike other agencies in our region, we are also committed to helping care for the diabetic patient population with a unique approach that provides daily touchpoints,” said Kris Carter, Executive Director, Aspire. Using Synzi’s platform, Aspire engages diabetic patients at home or other points of care on a daily basis and their clinicians use HIPAA-compliant secure messaging, email, text, and multi-way video drive patient adherence in monitoring their blood sugar levels and following nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle guidance. Unlike other agencies in their competitive region, Aspire reduced rehospitalization rates while remaining profitable by treating a patient population which other agencies are no longer able to support as PDGM and value-based care are underway in 2020.
Providing Wound Care Expertise with Virtual Care
In another example, AccentCare highlights how Synzi’s platform enables the organization to focus on wound and infusion patients whom other agencies are not able to effectively support. “Having this technology sets us apart from our competition. We’ve been focusing on wound and infusion patients when no one else would take them… In an office that’s running, in general, an 11% hospitalization rate, this population [with] this intervention had a 4% rate,” stated AccentCare’s Chief Medical Officer Gregory Sheff. With Synzi, AccentCare has been able to cut costs and reduce readmissions while embracing a specific patient population overlooked by other post-acute care organizations.
Engaging Patients with Virtual Therapy
According to a NAHC survey, 23% of agencies said they expect to decrease therapy utilization by less than 10%, 25% plan to reduce utilization by more than 10%, and 28% anticipate decreasing staff. Instead of cutting back on therapy services, an agency can become more cost-sensitive when delivering therapy services in the home setting by using telehealth / virtual care. For Concierge Home Care, Synzi’s virtual care communication platform enabled their therapists to remain continuously engaged with the patient – regardless of any change in the number of in-person visits – without negatively impacting patient care. The additional touchpoints allowed their staff to “do more with less” and motivate the patient above and beyond traditional in-person visits.